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Excerpt of Interview with Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago

INSIDE THE VATICAN

March, 1998

How can we as Catholic Americans provide a more fully human culture?

GEORGE: We're involved in that discussion all the time… It's a question, I think, of relativizing the absoluteness of choice. In other words, understanding that human freedom brings you into relationship rather than into autonomy. We get that from the Holy Trinity. We get that from being members of the Body of Christ. Catholics have to keep saying there's some relations that cannot be "unchosen." Marriage is one, for example, and the Church is another; ordination is another. And the idea that some things once chosen freely cannot be unchosen - that's something that isn't very much reinforced, and at that point the culture is less than human. It is less than adequate to the profundity of the human soul itself, that calls out, I think, for a kind of stability - in Christ, at least, we believe - that runs counter to this idea, "Well I can undo anything that's done, I can unchoose anything that I've chosen."

Do you think that leads to the deterioration we've seen, and the loss of respect for human life?

GEORGE: Sure it does. I mean, we choose autonomy rather than life, at certain points, when there's an abortion.

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